As quarantine got into full swing back in March, I decided that I wasn’t going to get through it without freshening up a few areas in my home. I set my sights on our tired entryway first because it’s not a big space. The makeover needed to accomplish two things: 1) be more functional and 2) make a better first impression of our home. Today I’m sharing all about how I gave this area new life and since we’re still not entertaining much no one has seen our refreshed entryway. So I figured why not debut our new space here for all of you!
I am terrible about taking before photos so I don’t have many of our entryway before. It might have something to do with the fact that I never really liked the space so I never took pictures of it. When you come into our house, the front door drops you right into the living room, which left zero space for a foyer. I knew I had to keep the design clean, compact, and eye-catching to make it work. When we moved in a few years ago I bought a minimal iron frame console table because the open base didn’t crowd the entry.
We’ve loved the table as a landing pad for things when we come in the door, or a place to tuck our shoes underneath. I used the table as a jumping off point for the design since I knew it worked and I still loved it. If you ever find yourself stuck on a design, try starting with the pieces you know you love that need to be in the space. You can build your plans around the things you love the most.
We combined two households of furniture when we moved into the Crhacienda, hence this crowded photo. Since then almost all of it has found new homes with friends or we’ve donated them to charity. I wanted a mirror here as a quick place to check yourself before leaving the house, but the gold mirror we brought from our condo just felt boring here. We also inherited that white slab front door on the left in the photo above. We knew we wanted something special as our home’s first impression so we set out on some big plans for it.
I really tried to love this setup. Reeeeeeally tried. The photo above isn’t one of my best styling efforts, but at different points I tried art instead of a mirror, different pottery and books, plants, but nothing was doing it for me. To the left of the door there was a small spot for coats that was feeling more farmhouse than the modern Spanish vibe I wanted. Farmhouse can be done right, but this definitely wasn’t what I was going for.
If you’re paying close attention you’ll see that we had our handyman sand down the slab door during all this. In my dreams I was hoping that the wood underneath would be beautiful and I could stain and seal it. Boy, was I wrong. The grain just looks irregular and busy, but I was glad we tried before moving onto another idea.
Once we saw the natural grain of the door we knew we’d have to either paint it or replace the door completely. A new front door wasn’t exactly in our budget, so I asked our handyman to try one more thing. I had him use his router to cut v-grooves into the door so it would look like a tongue & groove door. And what a frickin’ amazing difference it made! This simple and inexpensive idea turned our boring slab door into something special. Now it was a statement piece!
Just a quick word of warning for those of you ready to go cut into your doors: our door is a solid wood slab. It was safe to cut the v-grooves into it, but if you have a hollow-core door please do not try this. You will most likely turn your door into Swiss cheese. Finally, we primed and painted the door Black by Dunn Edwards. It looks so sharp and updated. We’ve slowly been painting all the window trim to black on the outside of our house too and this completely re-energized the house.
THE COAT HOOKS
In the entryway before, the coat hooks left a big hole underneath them. I wanted to do something that would activate more of the wall. I originally fell in love with some expensive marble mushroom coat hooks from Scandinavia. Alas, they weren’t meant to be because they were hella’ expensive (like €200 each) and thanks to corona they were also on backorder. That was definitely the Universe telling me I didn’t need them.
So I turned to the interwebz for an alternative I could love and I found these faux-marble mushroom hooks on Amazon. For only $15 I couldn’t pass them up. I want to be completely up front with you all, the marble illusion isn’t super convincing up close, but from a few feet away it’s hard to tell. What else do you expect for $15? They’re just the right amount of cool without breaking the bank, and they’re sturdy enough for a jacket, hat, or market bag to grab before you leave the house.
Underneath the new coat hooks I brought in this occasional stool from Target. The geometric shape and contrasting wood grains added some fun and texture I loved. And since we’re always looking for extra seating when we entertain this is perfect to pull up to other parts of the house. Most of the time it’s a sturdy spot to take on and off shoes by the door.
SHOP THIS LOOK
THE FULL AFTER
I am still completely in love with the wireframe table. It feels more intentional with the rest of the design now, and it’s just the right scale and visual weight for the wall. Aside from shoes, it’s also a gathering spot for deliveries. Don’t you just love the original peekaboo window on the door too? Gah! It was one of those small charming details that really sold the house for us and now it sings!
My husband was a little annoyed to hear that the gold mirror from our condo wasn’t going to work in the new design. Something he says quite frequently is, “it’s my favorite thing – paid for!” But it just wasn’t lively enough and didn’t feel special. Once he saw the bone inlay mirror I sourced from CB2 he was sold. It’s graphic, modern, and bold while still reminding us both of traditional bone inlay furniture. It definitely helped punch up the entry and make it more memorable.
Finally, I styled the table with all vintage items from my styling collection (aka my hoarding closet). The oversized ceramic vase fit perfectly here, and I filled it with olive branches clipped from the trees in our garden. Since I’m not visiting our local flower district as often, I’ve been taking more cuttings from our yard to brighten up the house. That little vintage terra cotta bowl catches the odd coins, keys, or receipts that tend to gather right by the door.
There you have it! I’ve really been enjoying how special this part of our home feels now, especially since I’m seeing it so much much during isolation. Don’t forget to check out what else I’ve been up to during quarantine. I’d love hear what you think in the comments and all about the small projects you’ve taken on around your home too.